1328. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if there is legislation governing private operators clamping vehicles in private car parks at commercial or private residential premises areas; if so, if there is a limit to the amount that can be charged for the removal of the clamp; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34983/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Parking Regulations)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​As the Deputy may be aware the initial commencement of the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015 was effective from 1 June 2017.
The Act designates the National Transport Authority (NTA) as the statutory regulator for clamping and the NTA has now published draft Regulations and invited submissions from members of the public with a closing date of today.
 The Act will benefit people through providing a robust regulatory framework for vehicle cl...

1329. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the Narrow Water bridge project; if reports of it being in jeopardy are accurate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35786/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Road Projects Status)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1329 and 1330 together.
Under the Fresh Start Agreement, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Government agreed to undertake a review of the proposed Narrow Water Bridge project with a view to identifying options for its future development, for consideration by the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC).
Following on from consultation with stakeholders, I understand that an options paper is being pr...

1330. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the Narrow Water bridge project; if under planning law, reports of it being in jeopardy are accurate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35787/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Road Projects Status)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1329 and 1330 together.
Under the Fresh Start Agreement, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Government agreed to undertake a review of the proposed Narrow Water Bridge project with a view to identifying options for its future development, for consideration by the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC).
Following on from consultation with stakeholders, I understand that an options paper is being pr...

1331. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the discussions he has had with either the Northern Ireland authorities and or the UK government regarding the progression of the A5 and N2 cross-Border motorway project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36120/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Road Projects Status)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As regards the  A5 scheme, the planning and implementation of the project is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland authorities.  As the Deputy is aware, the Stormont House Agreement and Implementation Plan - A Fresh Start - reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to provide funding of £50m for the A5 project and committed an additional £25m to ensure that Phase 1 of the project (Newbuildings to north of Strabane) can commence as ...

1332. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the monitoring and enforcement regime on the mandatory wearing of lifejackets; the number of detections of breaches of the regulations in each of the years 2014 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and the consequences for the owners or managers of the vessels in question. (Question 36577/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Maritime Safety Regulations)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Under existing maritime legislation, the Marine Survey Office has issued a number of Fixed Payment Notices (of €150 fine) in relation to the non wearing of life jackets on pleasure craft. The number of these issued are as set out in the following table: 
 YEAR 2014 2015 2016 2017 NO. OF FIXED PAYMENT NOTICES ISSUED 2 1 2 1 

 Separately, the Coast Guard carry out a number of safety compliance monitoring patrols to a...

1333. Deputy Kevin O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the completion of the new national sports policy framework. (Question 34907/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Departmental Strategies)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Officials in my Department are at an advanced drafting stage in the development of a new national sports policy. It is aimed to publish the new policy in early autumn 2017.
 ...

1334. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of plans to upgrade the N24 to motorway status; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34927/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Road Projects Status)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for overall policy and  funding in relation to the national roads programme. The planning, design and implementation of individual national road projects is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the relevant local authorities.
Accordingly, I have referred the Deputy’s question to TII for direct reply.  ...

1335. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has discussed with his UK counterpart the possibility of a new aviation agreement between Ireland and Britain to avoid flight disruption as a result of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34935/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Aviation Industry)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I have had a number of meetings with my UK counterparts, EU counterparts and the European Commissioner on Brexit. These meetings were extremely useful in promoting an understanding of transport and tourism Brexit implications for Ireland including the potential implications for the open skies policy and connectivity. It is too early in the Brexit process to speculate in any detail on the possible need for a new aviation agreement b...

1336. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the 2017 allocation for the wheelchair accessible vehicle grant scheme; and the amount he plans to allocate in each of the years 2018 to 2021. (Question 34963/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Public Transport Initiatives)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Accessibility features are built into all new public transport infrastructure projects and vehicles from the design stage and new systems such as the Luas are fully accessible. In addition, 100% of the Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann city fleets are wheelchair accessible, as well as approximately 80% of the Bus Éireann coach fleet.
With regard to existing infrastructure, there is an ongoing Accessibility Grants Programme to upgrade publi...

1337. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of applications that have been made under the wheelchair accessible vehicle grant scheme, by year, since its inception, including 2017; and the number of persons that have been successful each year, including 2017. (Question 34964/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Taxi Regulations)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The regulation of the small public service vehicle industry, including management of the grant scheme for  wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs), is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013. I have therefore referred your question to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.
 ...

1338. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the average waiting time for a driving test at each test centre in 2015 and 2016 and to date in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34967/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Driver Test Waiting Lists)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​This is a matter for the Road Safety Authority. I have referred the question to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response is not received within 10 days.
 ...

1339. Deputy Maria Bailey asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the details of the due diligence between Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council; the proposed timeframe for this process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34978/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Harbour Authorities)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, as a Port of Regional Significance, is designated under National Ports Policy for transfer to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. The process of transferring governance of Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is ongoing.
This process and the future operational structures of the port are primarily matters for agreement between the Council and the port.Dún Laoghaire R...

1340. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding will be made available for a road (details supplied) in Glenbeigh, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35106/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Regional Road Network)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of local authorities, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from a local authority’s own resources supplemented by State road grants.  The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.
I understand that the road referred to ...

1341. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will reverse the decision of his Department not to provide funding to Cork City Council to assist with the escalating problem of Japanese knotweed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35147/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Local Authority Funding)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​My Department has not sought applications from local authorities for grant assistance in relation to the treatment of Japanese Knotweed on the regional and local road network and has no record of a request for funding from Cork City Council for such treatment in relation to regional and local roads.
 ...

1342. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the details of his proposed transport forum; the bodies which will attend such a forum; if the forum will be on a statutory basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35149/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Transport Policy)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Deputy is aware that I have previously committed to dialogue with all public transport stakeholders to facilitate a review of our national  public transport policy.
I believe that this type of broad dialogue will allow for a meaningful exchange of views about how we should shape the development of our public transport policy over the next 10 to 15 years.  I look forward to the participation of all relevant stakeholders, which sho...

1343. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans for increased funding for community involvement and local improvement scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35188/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Local Improvement Scheme Funding)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1343 and 1344 together.
The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of the local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the local authority’s own resources supplemented by State road grants.  The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for...

1344. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a review has taken place regarding funding for community involvement and local improvement schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35189/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Local Improvement Scheme Funding)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1343 and 1344 together.
The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of the local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the local authority’s own resources supplemented by State road grants.  The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for...

1345. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if all security and contract cleaning companies that have obtained contracts from his Department and agencies under the aegis of his Department under public procurement rules are paying the legal employment regulation order, ERO, hourly rate to their security and contract cleaning employees; the steps he has taken to confirm full compliance with the ERO system; if he has cancelled contracts with companies that have been found to be in breach of the ERO system since 1 October 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35235/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Departmental Contracts Data)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​The information requested by the Deputy is currently being collated and will be forwarded as soon as possible.  If the Deputy does not receive a response within 10 working days they should contact my private office.
 ...

1346. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the application by Limerick City and County Council for traffic calming measures on the N69 outside a school (details supplied) in County Limerick. (Question 35251/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Traffic Calming Measures)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), formerly the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.
Noting the above position, I have refe...

1347. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to new bus services which will serve an estate (details supplied); the company providing this service; when this service will begin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35256/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Bus Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​The issue raised is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and I have forwarded the Deputy’s question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.
 ...

1348. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the details of the assessment carried out by Transport Infrastructure Ireland of Ballyheane village, Castlebar, County Mayo, further to the application to have the speed limit in the village extended south of the L57501 Carrowclogher Road; if TII attended physically at the site; if so, the person who attended; the assessment which was carried out; the details of the observations made; and the reason for refusal of the application to extend the speed limit. (Question 35271/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Traffic Management)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and operation of individual road projects (including the N84 through Ballyheane Village) is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.  Noting the above position, I have referred ...

1349. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if there is a grant programme open for swimming pools. (Question 35297/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Swimming Pool Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1349 and 1350 together.
The Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme (LASPP) provides grant aid to local authorities towards the capital costs of new swimming pools or the refurbishment of existing pools. 
In January of 2016, my Department contacted local authorities and sought expressions of interest in a limited round of swimming pool allocations. There were three expr...

1350. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if applications have ever been made for a swimming pool in south County Meath; and when a decision will be made in respect thereof. (Question 35298/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Swimming Pool Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1349 and 1350 together.
The Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme (LASPP) provides grant aid to local authorities towards the capital costs of new swimming pools or the refurbishment of existing pools. 
In January of 2016, my Department contacted local authorities and sought expressions of interest in a limited round of swimming pool allocations. There were three expr...

1351. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his Department will make provision in the capital roads budget to complete the section of the Portlaoise orbital route from Timahoe road, Portlaoise to Abbeyleix road, Portlaoise. (Question 35315/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Regional Road Network)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in Laois is the statutory responsibility of Laois County Council, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the local authority’s own resources supplemented by State road grants.  The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.
The Portlaoise Southern ...

1352. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that many road haulage companies registered in Northern Ireland are operating here contrary to the cabotage rules governed by Regulation (EC) 1072/2009 as of 14 May 2010 (details supplied); if he will increase monitoring of this through the Road Safety Authority; and if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that road haulage companies operating within the rules are at a severe disadvantage. (Question 35342/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Haulage Industry Regulation)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​The enforcement of cabotage legislation is a matter for the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána. I believe that the enforcement authorities are aware of the issue and have procedures in place to ensure that International haulage operators are checked to verify that they are compliant with cabotage regulations. I would urge anyone who has information on out of state haulage companies operating contrary to cabotage rules to ...